Imipramine: What is it? Indications, Side Effects, Overdoses and Precautions

It is an antidepressant medication that belongs to the family of tricyclics.


It is used to modify chemicals in the brain that may be affecting emotional balance in people with chronic depression.

It is sometimes used to treat nocturnal enuresis in children six years old.

It must be prescribed by a medical specialist when it detects that your patient has high levels of depression.

Depression is defined as an omnipresent sense of sadness and apathy caused by brain neurotransmitters and abnormal levels of chemicals in the brain.

These neurotransmitters are chemicals that the brain nerves use to communicate with each other, so Imipramine improves mood by raising the levels of neurotransmitters in the brain.

Some young people have thoughts about suicide when they take an antidepressant for the first time.


It is essential to follow the moods when beginning treatment with Imipramine, and if negative symptoms occur, it is recommended to contact a specialist doctor.

It may take up to 3 weeks before the symptoms improve.

Side effects

Imipramine can cause sudden mood changes, so the treatment prescribed by the specialist doctor must be strictly followed unless the following symptoms are present:

  • Allergic reactions include difficulty breathing and swelling of the lips, tongue, throat, or face.
  • Blurred vision or sudden swelling and even pain in the eyes.
  • A feeling of dizziness, even fainting.
  • Chest pain or cardiac arrhythmias after the dose.
  • Sudden and unexplainable weakness, loss of balance, problems keeping communication fluid, or difficulty focusing on nearby objects.
  • High body temperatures or fever without presenting infections or any disease that causes them.
  • Hallucinations, unusual behavior, or seizures.

Other types of side effects but infrequent are:

  • Tingling sensation, weakness, lack of coordination.
  • Sudden nausea, malaise, vomiting, diarrhea, or constipation.
  • Ringing in the ears.
  • Unusual swelling in female or male breasts.
  • Decreased libido or difficulty having orgasms.

Imipramine may cause some effects that may need medical attention, such as:

  • Mild or severe disorientation
  • Abdominal or stomach pain
  • Agitation.
  • Blurry vision.
  • Burning, tingling, itching, or tingling sensation.
  • Pain or discomfort in the chest.
  • Stools of clay color.
  • Cold sweating
  • Confusion about identity.
  • Continuous buzzing or other unexplained noise in the ears.
  • Chronic cough or hoarseness.
  • Dark urine.
  • Dizziness, fainting, or lightheadedness when suddenly rising from a lying or sitting position.
  • Double vision
  • Dry mouth
  • Facts can not change false beliefs.
  • Feel, see or hear things that are not there
  • Fever with or without chills.
  • Dry and reddened skin.
  • A general feeling of tiredness or weakness.
  • Hearing loss.
  • Hostility.
  • Hyperventilation.
  • Inability to move arms, legs, or facial muscles.
  • Irritability.
  • Itching or rash
  • Lack of coordination.
  • Lethargy.
  • Loss of balance control.
  • Lumbar or lateral pain.
  • Mood or mental changes.
  • Muscle spasm or jerking of all extremities.
  • Muscular tremors, shaking, or stiffness.
  • Nightmares.
  • Red or purple spots on the skin.
  • Fast weight gain
  • Redness of the face, neck, arms, and occasionally, the upper chest.
  • Restlessness.
  • Tremors and dangerous trek.
  • Rigidity of the extremities.
  • Stupor.
  • Perspiration.
  • Problems with sleep.
  • Body torsion movements.
  • Uncontrolled movements, especially of the face, neck, and back.
  • Unusual behavior
  • Unusual tiredness or weakness
  • Yellow eyes or skin

Ingesting high doses of this medication may cause an overdose.

Symptoms of overdose

  • Bluish color of nails, lips, skin, or palms.
  • Cold and damp skin.
  • Decreased awareness or the ability to respond.
  • Difficulty breathing.
  • Disorientation.
  • Fast or weak pulse.
  • Hallucinations
  • Irregular, rapid, slow, or superficial breathing.
  • Severe drowsiness
  • Dilated pupils.
  • Black language
  • Difficulty defecating
  • Swelling of the testicles.
  • Swollen, painful, or tender lymph glands on the side of the face or neck.

If you currently have a depressed mood and wish to have medical control and be treated with Imipramine, you should consider that dosing is not recommended when you have heart disease, stroke, or seizures.

You should not take Imipramine if you have bipolar disorder (manic depression), schizophrenia or other mental illness, kidney or liver disease, hyperactive thyroid, or tumor of the adrenal gland.

Ask your treating doctor if you can take Imipramine if you have diabetes, narrow-angle glaucoma, problems urinating, or a condition you are being treated with electroconvulsive therapy (ECT).

There have been cases where older adults are more likely to suffer from the side effects produced by Imipramine more frequently.

Do not give this medicine to a child without medical advice. Imipramine is not approved to treat depression in anyone under 18.


If you are currently prescribed this medication by your treating doctor, you should not stop using Imipramine suddenly. Follow the specialist’s instructions about decreasing your dose.

This drug should be stored under an ambient temperature, away from moisture and heat, and can not be near children, teenagers or pets.

It is forbidden to drink alcoholic beverages while on treatment. Side effects can occur when alcohol is combined with Imipramine.

Remember that side effects can cause irrational thoughts that are harmful to you or your loved ones if you drive or do any activity that requires your senses or is awake and alert.

Imipramine can cause sunburn, so you should avoid exposure to sunlight or tanning beds.